Should English be a mandatory year 11 & 12 subject?


Should English be a mandatory year 11 & 12 subject?

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ozboy
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Should any subject be mandatory?
Should another subject/s be mandatory?

Answers should be interesting.....
keepersball
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I personally reckon they've got the two core subjects mixed up. Math should be compulsory and English not. Those who remember senior English would admit that some of it is absolute bollocks. Im currently in the High School system, and I really can't stand it. Maybe that is just me, but I doubt I would need to know poetic devices such as enjambment in my life.

Math however on the other hand should be a must. Everyday you go through life using math, prices, bills, timetables etc. In NSW they run a course called General Math. This isn't your typical Trigonometry and Calculus filled courses, but more a life skills math subject. I can't see why even students who do seem to struggle with Math can't do well in that. The argument of "Oh some kids just don't understand Math," is the whole reason why we need make the subject compulsive.

I'm not saying that you won't need English in some occupations, I mean there's plenty our journalism gigs that would require it. But at the end of the day, there are more hints of Math in the majority of jobs, and in general life for that matter. I can understand why a kid might pick English in Year 11/12 because they're good at it/need it for future jobs, but Math should be mandatory.

That's my two cents anyway.

Edited by keepersball: 24/9/2012 10:13:30 AM
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Has to be, unless you want to be cleaning public toilets for the rest of your life.
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What does it matter, the English language has been destroyed by internet and text speak as well as a move to computers, young people today have less and less of a grasp of how to construct sentences and how to articulate a point in an essay.

It was bad enough when I was going through school, that they removed grammar from the curriculum, now days kids are needing to be taught how to write legibly for their HSC!

But yes it should as well as 1 science, Nath and a computer class that helps you understand the finer points of computers to an equivelant of a Cert II at TAFE.
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IMO English should be mandatory throughout k-12, we seriously need to improve the literacy of kids today.
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Should be mandatory in year 11 and 12 and should also be mandatory for any new student that comes in to a school and English is not their first language.
Krackovich
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Yes, it's bad enough as it is when you get to uni and have to do group assignments with fobs who cant speak english.
General Ashnak
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No subject should be mandatory otherwise you may as well just have every kid do the same subjects in their final two years at school as the arguments for making any subject mandatory are equally valid for a number of other subjects. Lets just make every one do maths, science (why even bother splitting them up at highschool?), english, history and phys ed - bases covered.

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I don't believe it should be mandatory in its current form. The only real thing I learnt that is useful to me is how to write and present a formal speech. Most of the other forms of writing that I will need I learnt in other subjects when I was required to write a experimental procedure or a right a technical report. All I learnt in english was that those who could bullshit the best got the best marks.
ozboy
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I don't see why English should be mandatory - the fundamentals are all taught by year 8.
Beyond that it is purely philosophy/psychology/social science, not English
General Ashnak
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chillbilly wrote:
I don't believe it should be mandatory in its current form. The only real thing I learnt that is useful to me is how to write and present a formal speech. Most of the other forms of writing that I will need I learnt in other subjects when I was required to write a experimental procedure or a right a technical report. All I learnt in english was that those who could bullshit the best got the best marks.

Sad to say that in year 12 I wrote my journal in 2 hours on the final day it could be handed up and recieved 97% or something stupid for it - I just can't respect a subject which requires nothing more than the ability to spout bullshit in an engaging fashion.

The thing about football - the important thing about football - is its not just about football.
- Sir Terry Pratchett in Unseen Academicals
For pro/rel in Australia across the entire pyramid, the removal of artificial impediments to the development of the game and its players.
On sabbatical Youth Coach and formerly part of The Cove FC

General Ashnak
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11.mvfc.11 wrote:
General Ashnak wrote:
chillbilly wrote:
I don't believe it should be mandatory in its current form. The only real thing I learnt that is useful to me is how to write and present a formal speech. Most of the other forms of writing that I will need I learnt in other subjects when I was required to write a experimental procedure or a right a technical report. All I learnt in english was that those who could bullshit the best got the best marks.

Sad to say that in year 12 I wrote my journal in 2 hours on the final day it could be handed up and recieved 97% or something stupid for it - I just can't respect a subject which requires nothing more than the ability to spout bullshit in an engaging fashion.
The ability to spout bullshit in an engaging fashion is probably the best and most sought after skill in a person. If you can always make yourself and those around you look good, you're due a decent pay cheque. That is why PR is such a huge business nowadays.

You also need to be able to do what you say ;)

The thing about football - the important thing about football - is its not just about football.
- Sir Terry Pratchett in Unseen Academicals
For pro/rel in Australia across the entire pyramid, the removal of artificial impediments to the development of the game and its players.
On sabbatical Youth Coach and formerly part of The Cove FC

chillbilly
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General Ashnak wrote:
11.mvfc.11 wrote:
General Ashnak wrote:
chillbilly wrote:
I don't believe it should be mandatory in its current form. The only real thing I learnt that is useful to me is how to write and present a formal speech. Most of the other forms of writing that I will need I learnt in other subjects when I was required to write a experimental procedure or a right a technical report. All I learnt in english was that those who could bullshit the best got the best marks.

Sad to say that in year 12 I wrote my journal in 2 hours on the final day it could be handed up and recieved 97% or something stupid for it - I just can't respect a subject which requires nothing more than the ability to spout bullshit in an engaging fashion.
The ability to spout bullshit in an engaging fashion is probably the best and most sought after skill in a person. If you can always make yourself and those around you look good, you're due a decent pay cheque. That is why PR is such a huge business nowadays.

You also need to be able to do what you say ;)

Or at least qualify it. If you can't you just be the boy crying wolf.
Shatter
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Anyone in business will say yes.

Even at a corporate level, the writing levels are poor. A quick perusal of these forums says it all.

As mentioned before, unless you want to clean toilets being able to write well is one of the very best skills you can acquire.

I did an Arts degree after I left school and often questioned what on earth I was doing it for. However, not that I am working, having critical thinking skills, communication and writing skills etc, is absolutely invaluable and puts you way ahead of the rest of the business world.
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I think it should be compulsory, but not the current curriculum. Over here, in English 3A/B, the most popular English course for Year 12s in the state, you have to write about stuff like how the heroes journey is evident in films. How many people are going to do anything like that in the future? It would be much better if it was focussed on English skills like grammar and reading, or even skills they might need in later life like writing letters.
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The world would be in a FAR better place if science was mandatory until the end of school. Technically, maths should be as well because science relies on maths, but if it could only be one it would have to be science.
As for writing an essay & forming an argument, science teaches that as a basic requirement in report or essay writing.
Forming an argument requires logic and rationality. Science thumps English in this regard. The comments of 'being able to spout bullshit' by some in here proves my point. You might get it by in 'English', you would fail in science.
General Ashnak
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ozboy wrote:
The world would be in a FAR better place if science was mandatory until the end of school. Technically, maths should be as well because science relies on maths, but if it could only be one it would have to be science.
As for writing an essay & forming an argument, science teaches that as a basic requirement in report or essay writing.
Forming an argument requires logic and rationality. Science thumps English in this regard. The comments of 'being able to spout bullshit' by some in here proves my point. You might get it by in 'English', you would fail in science.

An English and Science essay are written very differently.

The thing about football - the important thing about football - is its not just about football.
- Sir Terry Pratchett in Unseen Academicals
For pro/rel in Australia across the entire pyramid, the removal of artificial impediments to the development of the game and its players.
On sabbatical Youth Coach and formerly part of The Cove FC

ozboy
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Shatter wrote:
I did an Arts degree after I left school and often questioned what on earth I was doing it for. However, not that I am working, having critical thinking skills, communication and writing skills etc, is absolutely invaluable and puts you way ahead of the rest of the business world.

Utter garbage.
Jack Nasser past head of Ford worked his way up to CEO from the assembly line.
The current Managing Director of the Australian division of a worldwide company I used to work for (not his own creation) dropped out of school at 15 & could not even speak the English language properly in his 30s, yet is probably on well over $500K/year by now. Being able to manipulate people & spout bullshit helps in senior management level, not English language & rationality.
ozboy
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General Ashnak wrote:
ozboy wrote:
The world would be in a FAR better place if science was mandatory until the end of school. Technically, maths should be as well because science relies on maths, but if it could only be one it would have to be science.
As for writing an essay & forming an argument, science teaches that as a basic requirement in report or essay writing.
Forming an argument requires logic and rationality. Science thumps English in this regard. The comments of 'being able to spout bullshit' by some in here proves my point. You might get it by in 'English', you would fail in science.

An English and Science essay are written very differently.

Yep, English's idea of critical thinking is what Science wipes its arse with.

Edited by ozboy: 24/9/2012 12:18:58 PM
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I'm not going to read everyone's replies, but the simple answer is yes.

I remember in Year 11, this guy in the class couldn't farken read a paragraph for the class, and the way the English language is deteriorating by the day suggests that we need better English classes.
When people's use of the written or spoken word is limited to Twitter and FB statuses, we know we are in a bad place.

If I had $1 for the amount of times someone walks into the work kitchen and sees me reading my book during my lunch break and asks "how many books do you read a week?" - in a smart ass way - I'd be a billionaire.
I think some people just do not comprehend the act of reading a book of one's own accord and for fun ("I haven't read a book since high school" is a very common phrase I hear people say).

And I agree about points made that even in the corporate world and from top execs, their spelling and grammar is shocking. I cringe and shake my head on a daily basis from the stuff I read.
Shatter
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ozboy wrote:
General Ashnak wrote:
ozboy wrote:
The world would be in a FAR better place if science was mandatory until the end of school. Technically, maths should be as well because science relies on maths, but if it could only be one it would have to be science.
As for writing an essay & forming an argument, science teaches that as a basic requirement in report or essay writing.
Forming an argument requires logic and rationality. Science thumps English in this regard. The comments of 'being able to spout bullshit' by some in here proves my point. You might get it by in 'English', you would fail in science.

An English and Science essay are written very differently.

Yep, English's idea of critical thinking is what Science wipes its arse with.

Edited by ozboy: 24/9/2012 12:18:58 PM


Dafuq are you talking about? When has English ever been about critical thinking? It's about the ability to communicate and express a concept in a well thought out and considered manner. There's no point in having a great idea or correct one if you can't get it across.


ozboy wrote:
Shatter wrote:
I did an Arts degree after I left school and often questioned what on earth I was doing it for. However, not that I am working, having critical thinking skills, communication and writing skills etc, is absolutely invaluable and puts you way ahead of the rest of the business world.

Utter garbage.
Jack Nasser past head of Ford worked his way up to CEO from the assembly line.
The current Managing Director of the Australian division of a worldwide company I used to work for (not his own creation) dropped out of school at 15 & could not even speak the English language properly in his 30s, yet is probably on well over $500K/year by now. Being able to manipulate people & spout bullshit helps in senior management level, not English language & rationality.


Congratulations on pulling out a couple of examples as a way to rationally prove a point. Talk about a self-defeating post. Why don't provide a study of everyone in Australia who can hardly speak English and compare their wages? Frankly, this kind of embarrassing argument of pulling outliers as proof is the kind of unscientific rubbish and lack of critical thinking that pervades Australia. The internet has provided everyone an outlet to post their thoughts with little discrimination to merit. The winner then becomes whoever can yell the loudest.
Shatter
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ozboy wrote:
The world would be in a FAR better place if science was mandatory until the end of school. Technically, maths should be as well because science relies on maths, but if it could only be one it would have to be science.
As for writing an essay & forming an argument, science teaches that as a basic requirement in report or essay writing.
Forming an argument requires logic and rationality. Science thumps English in this regard. The comments of 'being able to spout bullshit' by some in here proves my point. You might get it by in 'English', you would fail in science.


I didn't do English at university, as I presume you are referring to me. I did do semesters on logic, fallacy and argument. For someone who talks about science you seem to nail fallacies on a regular basis.
ozboy
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Shatter wrote:
Dafuq are you talking about? When has English ever been about critical thinking? It's about the ability to communicate and express a concept in a well thought out and considered manner. There's no point in having a great idea or correct one if you can't get it across.

Read earlier posts.
Then call the subject critical thinking (which doesn't exist) rather than 'English'.
Which actually reinforces my original point - science is all about critical thinking.

Shatter wrote:
Congratulations on pulling out a couple of examples as a way to rationally prove a point. Talk about a self-defeating post. Why don't provide a study of everyone in Australia who can hardly speak English and compare their wages? Frankly, this kind of embarrassing argument of pulling outliers as proof is the kind of unscientific rubbish and lack of critical thinking that pervades Australia. The internet has provided everyone an outlet to post their thoughts with little discrimination to merit. The winner then becomes whoever can yell the loudest.

They aren't outliers, they are common. They are also from personal experience in the working environment.
Another job I had the owner of a $10M+/year revenue & growing couldn't even formulate an email properly. Another one the Sales & Marketing Manager was even worse at writing basic emails.
Manipulation of staff to eek out profit is way more important than English language skills.
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Didn't learn anything useful in senior English TBH.
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It's not necessaily the content, but the way of thinking, learning, etc. That's where the benefit lies and that's why it should be mandatory
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It really isn't.

My dad was working on the wharves and ended up heading the largest engineering company in Australia so I know what it's like to see someone take that path but even he will tell you the importance of studying english. He will tell you that if you can write at an Engineering company you will go to the top. No one cares about your endearing personality or new bridge design, the amount of people with command of the English language in the industry is about 1%. It offers an extraordinary advantage if you can put together a sentence and great written plans.

I know a lot of people at the very top of the business chain in this country. I don't say that to name drop, I say it because I know most of these people are incredibly smart and have incredible writing skills. Writing skills don't just develop writing, they develop the way your thoughts formulate in your head, the way you are able to talk and vocalise etc. It's the classic example of the Eskimos who have 50 words for the "colour" white. If you don't have the words to use then you can't express yourself.

I know first hand that the ability to communicate is by far the number one problem in business. I see it every single day. It's the reason why I have been able to go far in a very short time. There are many that are far smarter than I am but my written and verbal communication skills allow me to better express my ideas. I was in the bottom 10% in English at school and it's no coincidence that I had a lot of problems expressing myself at that time in my life.

Their are very few people that started at the bottom that are at the top in business but anyone who does is normally an incredible communicator, verbally and written.

Three others point I would make:
1) Science is not a subject. There are many branches of science. I absolutely love science but I don't see that it's had a great impact on my ability to think. I think, strangely enough, philosophy of all classes impacted that. Third year logic does start to hit strongly on math and a bit of science but it's a lot more rounded than a straight science class. It attempts to explain the very nature of rationality, logic and science, or whether they even exist.

2) Wiki says Jacques Nasser: "Nasser joined Ford Motor Company in 1968 as a financial analyst in its Australian unit. He then joined Ford's International Automotive Operations in various management roles."

3) Finally, it's a misnomer to say you need ONE thing. If you want to be great in life, you will have a strong understanding of science, english, maths, history and much more. You don't learn one thing and then shut up shop.

Edited by Shatter: 24/9/2012 12:58:34 PM
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Over here, English isn't compulsory in our final year. I think dropping it this year was one of the best decisions I've made, everyone complains about it.
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Shatter wrote:

My dad was working on the wharves and ended up heading the largest engineering company in Australia so I know what it's like to see someone take that path but even he will tell you the importance of studying english. He will tell you that if you can write at an Engineering company you will go to the top. No one cares about your endearing personality or new bridge design, the amount of people with command of the English language in the industry is about 1%. It offers an extraordinary advantage if you can put together a sentence and great written plans.

It is well known that engineers aren't that good at communicating to the common public but I have been surprised how bad some really are. I found many journals unreadable when I was researching my thesis. While looking for jobs I have found that many engineering companies have basic errors in spelling and grammar on nearly every page of their websites.

I don't think that the current syllabus for English lends itself favourably to all types of people, which is the reason why I don't think that it should be compulsory. I think that there should be several different English courses tailored for different needs in the senior years at high school of which one is compulsory rather than the one fits all method.
thupercoach
thupercoach
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Of course. It's our language innit?

We should also teach it to a few teachers I can think of.
ozboy
ozboy
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There's an old, but sad, adage in business management: 'never hire someone who will show you up'
GO


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